How To Set Up Your Fabulous ESL Business

The beginner's guide to setting up your own English Language School, at home or abroad!
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  • Lectures 15
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 4/2015 English

Course Description

Want to answer the question: what does it take to succeed as an ESL trainer?

An effective, qualified trainer can not only have a profound effect on their students' lives - both professionally and personally - but can also build a financially rewarding career.

In my ten years as an ESL trainer I've moved from language school L-plater to fully-booked freelancer, and this course details how you can enjoy the same success.

Through a combination of video, audio and text lectures delivered in my trademark sunshine style, I cover the six steps I've identified as necessary to establish a successful solo career as an ESL trainer. And all compressed into 40 minutes!

Take this course to get your ESL career soaring!

"Jacqueline has been my trainer since 2009, and has worked with me to improve my skills in English communication, specifically in business writing, speaking and presentations. She takes a communicative approach, simulating real-life situations, and has a wealth of knowledge to pull from." - Claudia Broghammer, Management Consultant at HR Campus AG

"Jacqueline was my colleague at inlingua Chemnitz for three years. In the course of this time I could watch her developing from “just" a skilful speaker of English into a passionate, TESOL-qualified language trainer who very soon became a favourite with her employer, colleagues and clients. Her warm, welcoming and open-minded personality as well as her dedication to high quality and goal orientation made her a wonderful and reliable colleague to work with." - Anja Pleul, Öffentlich bestellte und allgemein beeidigte Übersetzerin für Englisch / Sprachtrainerin Englisch / DaF

What are the requirements?

  • You should be keen on starting your freelance ESL career, or already be teaching in ESL but looking for ways in which to branch out solo.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • identify and establish your ESL teaching niche
  • build networks of peers in any country where you're teaching
  • build a personal brand
  • market your training propositions

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is for ESL trainers (qualified or almost qualified) seeking a successful career and wanting to go it alone, spread their wings and teach solo. It's probably not for ESL trainers comfortable to work solely in a language school environment, as it explores pathways to solo success. It's based on my nine years' experience as a successfully self-employed trainer, and the principles of this success cross borders.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Course Introduction and Housekeeping

As this is a short, sharp and sassy course this is a short and sweet introduction to what we're covering and why we're covering it. I'm aware your time is precious, so let's get cracking on learning how to be successful ESL solopreneurs!

~ Jacqueline


Not any old Joe (or Jill) can teach a course like this, so it's time you got some of my credentials before we move forwards. In this lecture I tell you a little about me, my history as an ESL trainer and my philosophy as a freelancer. If you have any questions please let me know, either in a discussion or PM. I'm happy to answer any questions or clarify any points!

So - let's get cracking.


One thing which rather annoys me, and which I encounter too regularly, is the misconception that ESL training is a lark. It's really not. Learning English certainly isn't a lark for politicians, medical staff, asylum seekers, pilots, journalists or the military. Or for programmers, engineers, air traffic controllers, ships captains or the coast guard.

So in this lecture I ask for a touch of seriousness - though as ESL professionals no doubt you have that in spades!

3 pages

For some inspiration early on in the course I thought I'd share some examples of how - in small ways - English training can help change people's lives. These are stories of some of my students.

What I envisage for this course is where we all share stories of ways in which we have seen our students grow and change, achieve things with English they couldn't when you started working together. Let's inspire one another with these stories! Share yours in the Discussion area, to the right!

Section 2: Step by Step - Follow My ESL Footsteps

"How do you build a sentence in English, Jacqui?" was a question that stopped me in my tracks on Day Two of English Training. And it shouldn't have, but I'd been hired before being qualified and was stumbling around in the dark holding onto this senseless, baseless assumption that I could teach my language simple because I could speak it.

Please, please don't fall into that trap! While you might have studied English grammar in school - and if so you did more than me! - a TESOL qualification will give you so much more. Classroom dynamics, lesson planning, assessment guidelines and more.

In this lecture I discuss the pitfalls of training without a qualification (erm... working for less than peanuts for a fly-by-night operator is one example!), and the advantages I found in having one. Also - where to go to get qualified.


When you go solo you're entering a wide world without a language school to act as a buffer between you and your client. You are the face of your business, and it pays to decide early on what that face is going to be, what it's going to look like. This is our Step Two to becoming a successful ESL solopreneur.

In this lecture I outline my process for making this transformation (from language school teacher to solo trainer), how I defined my points of difference (USPs) and how these became the basis for my marketing plan.


In this text lecture you play the lead: this lecture contains an important task for you to complete. Have a read to find out more!


None of us live, work or operate in a void and even when we are working solo we still are part of complex networks of peers and clients, suppliers and partners.

My success as a trainer has been based on building and maintaining positive working relationships and strong networks with a variety of people and organisations. Who and how? Watch the lecture and let's talk about it afterwards. I encourage some vibrant discussion on this one as we'll all be located in different countries and regions, so through discussion we can explore what networks you can establish.

Step Four: Build Networks, Build a Reputation, Develop Your Brand

As an ESL solopreneur your website is often a client's first contact with you, so it goes without saying that you've got to make it look good. I'm pretty proud of the website I put together, in terms of content and style (the latter of which I thank Apple and RapidWeaver for!) and this is what I go through in this lecture. Ref. my website's style, I had a recent client sign up and tell me she chose me over her local (chain) language school because of the predominance of Macs on the site! Should I be sad she didn't mention the content? Not at all - the style pulled her in, the content kept her reading.

But let's not concentrate on this point on how we create the website (that's a topic which could encompass its very own course!), rather let's concentrate on what we need in our websites. My website's worked extremely well for me, and while it's been through some style permutations the core content has remained the same.

So let's go through what has worked well for me, and in a discussion we can explore what can work for you!


This text lecture provides you with some useful tips for your website, tips which have certainly helped me! Feel free to contact me for further information, or if I can help you in some specific way.


Depending on where you're located, the pool of ESL trainers may be small and in small communities, people tend to talk and word spreads quickly.

In this lecture I talk about the importance of maintaining your reputation (and how to do it!) as well as maintaining your brand. This applies not only to your website but also to related marketing collateral.

Section 3: Conclusion

This lecture is my opportunity to go over the elements we've covered in this course, and to say thank you for working with me.

Every student has a story and a learning journey, and I'd love to know yours. Let me know where you're training now, and where you want to go? What networking have you done, and what networking opportunities are available that you know of? And importantly - how can I help you more?

Looking forward to staying in touch.

~ Jacqueline


If you're a newly-qualified ESL Trainer then you may be interested in this follow-up course I prepared for people just like you: English Made Easy - Language Hacks for ESL Trainers.

It's in response to the numerous questions I've had from trainers over the years about how to actually, practically introduce grammar to students. While a TESOL qualification gives us the piece of paper and a certain amount of practice, it's always advisable to have some more tips and tricks up your sleeves.

Which is where this course comes into it.

If you are interested, please send me a message and I'll give you a special code which will give you a 50 percent discount - my way of saying thank you!


This informal lecture seeks to answer specific questions I've received since launching the course about the daily business - what I do and how I do it. I hope this information is useful to you, and I look forward to hearing from you about it and sharing ideas and experiences!

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Instructor Biography

Jacqueline Seidel, Managing Director, Training Specialist


I offer two distinct types of courses: for instructional designers and ESL professionals, and for English learners.

For Instructional Designers and ESL Professionals - I want to show you how to build a successful career as a trainer by helping you focus on both the profession and the possibilities generated by implementing instructional design principles and observing best practice business management. 

Why? Because I love being a successful business owner, I love being a trainer. And I want to share this passion and enthusiasm with you, help you solve training problems and build a successful career.

For English Learners - capitalise on my 11 years’ experience training business professionals in effective communication skills, and find out why my clients keep coming back for more!

So, who am I? I'm an Australian business skills and language trainer based in Germany since early 2006, and my professional background is originally in the Australian private and public sectors. I combine this business and policy background with a passion for providing interesting, engaging and enjoyable training programs.

Through my company, O'Connell Advanced Training Solutions, I provide advanced coaching and development in more effective business English communication, delivered through competency-based, customised, individual or small group training programs.

My clients include multi-national corporations, medium-sized enterprises and individuals.

I look forward to seeing you in my courses and to helping you be the best trainer you can be. 

You can contact me for workshops or customised face-to-face training solutions.


Seit 2006 arbeite ich als freiberuflicher Sprachtrainer in Deutschland. Mit meinem Unternehmen O’Connell Advanced Training Solutions arbeite ich für Privat-Personen sowie Studenten  aus verschiedensten Unternehmen und Industriezweigen, um Englisch-Kenntnisse effektiv zu verbessern und interkulturelle Besonderheiten zu vermitteln.

Der Fokus meines Trainings liegt auf kompetentem, individualisiertem Unterricht mit starker Erfolgsorientierung. Praxisnähe, moderne Lehrmethoden und engagierter und unterhaltsamer Unterricht machen das Lernen bei mir einfacher und schneller.

Je nach Situation kann der Unterricht für Einzel-Personen oder kleine Gruppen, als persönliches Training oder als Online-Lesson organisiert werden.

Gerne helfe ich Dir, Dein Englisch zu verbessern! Kontaktiere mich einfach, und gemeinsam finden wir den besten Weg zum “Englisch-Profi”.

Instructor Biography

We've been providing customised training solutions to SMEs and multinationals since 2006, and our reputation as effective, engaging trainers continues to grow.

"We have used Jacqui on several occasions for the language training and education of our employees and we will also involve her in the future. Jacqui offers a very pleasant teaching style and through this, our employees quickly achieved their learning goals." -- T. Pietzsch, Geschäftsführer, GETT Gerätetechnik GmbH

O'Connell Advanced Training Solutions is your partner for capacity strengthening  training programs.

Offline, we provide advanced coaching and development in effective Business English communication for small and medium enterprises in Germany, delivered through competency-based, customised, individual or small group training programs.

Online, we broaden our training offers to include specific offers for managers, human resource professionals and corporate trainers.

Both online and offline, we provide personalised, business-relevant solutions which are high-touch, confidential, flexible and friendly.

- Jacqueline Seidel, Managing Director

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